Written by Mark Ferguson
When it comes to travel, I rarely get excited until I’m sitting on the plane. The final days of work are usually frantic - tying up loose ends to ensure all hell doesn’t break loose while I’m away.
The Dubrovnik to Split Cycle itinerary is a brand new trip in 2018 and I was excited to see what towns we would be spending each night in after a long day of riding!
No stranger to sailing and cycling with Sail Croatia, I enjoyed the Split Return North route in mid 2017, but a year is a long time and you forget how much fun it really was.
On Saturday morning I boarded the Almissa – a relatively new vessel that I was instantly impressed by. The accommodation and amenities were great: a proper sized double bed, plenty of storage and a shower with hot water that poured with gusto. What more could one want?! I was the first to arrive and settled into a café latte while the other guests started to arrive.
Around 1pm I heard, what sounded like a migrating herd of wild animals breaching the horizon, board the vessel on the lower deck. A dozen middle aged South African women with more energy than most 20-year old’s came charging up to the bar. The energy and excitement the ladies projected suddenly had all the other guests excited for what was to come over the next 7 days.
Over the next week, we wined, we dined, and everyone bonded so well. I find it absolutely remarkable that 30 strangers can come together in such close proximity and still manage to form a strong bond in such a short amount of time. Maybe it’s the endorphins from the exercise (riding 40km give or take every day!). Scrap that – I think it’s the wine!
Seriously though, the towns we pulled into every day were like something from a travel magazine or a painting. Absolutely stunning little harbours and the people were so friendly and welcoming to visitors. The island of Vis was one of my favourites. It boasts a rich World War 2 history which includes the submarine tunnels just outside of Vis. The town of Komiza is simply stunning with a very sleepy, beachy feel and would be a great location for a relaxing holiday in itself.
We sailed from Saturday to Saturday finishing our cycling component in the town of Omis. Omis is very well known for mountain climbing as we discovered whilst we were out for dinner on the Friday night, with looming mountains standing over the quaint town. The pizza and Croatian beer are second to none and I’d personally say the Croatian food is some of the best I’ve ever eaten in the world.
Split is where all the fun came to an end, a stunning town with plenty of history within the fortress which surrounds the Old Town. The Old Town is now a maze of bars, restaurants and activities. You need to try the ice-cream here too, although have a fitness plan when you return home!
All up, I can’t recommend this trip highly enough and I would definitely do it a third time, maybe the Split to Dubrovnik itinerary next time!